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Street dwellers identified as concern in IEC preparations

May B. Miasco/JMO (The Freeman) - December 22, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The presence of homeless families, children, and mendicants in the city’s streets is one of the concerns raised during a meeting at the Cebu City Hall yesterday in line with preparations for the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress (IEC).

The city and the archdiocese have decided to work together in addressing this concern but Fr. Wendell Balbuena expressed the action might be misunderstood as cleaning the streets of these people purposely for the IEC.

“Ingon ko nila, dili kaha ta ma-misunderstood ani nga mo-ingon sila we drive away people nga naa sa kadalanan? Dili ingon nga hiposon sila kon dili unsay pwede mabuhat aning mga tawhana,” Balbuena said.

The meeting covered concerns on traffic management, security measures, garbage woes, and transportation.  Balbuena said it would be best if the church would be represented by Fr. Carmelo Diola who has been active in supporting street children. With his experience, Diola can coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Services and other government entities effectively.

Diola is head of the Dilaab Foundation.

“Personally, I recommend on tapping the services of Fr. Diola. He has been doing these efforts and he can continue it in collaboration with DSWS. Estoryahon ni silang mga tawhana nga kon mahimo, naay i-assign nga particular person like Fr. Carmel Diola tungod kay nagsugod naman siya og handle sa mga bata sa kadalanan,” Balbuena said.

He said he wants to emphasize that the objective is not to hide the sweet dwellers but to help them in a long term.

“Our main point of discussion, among other concerns, we should do something about this,” Balbuena said.

DSWS Chief Dr. Ester Concha, a member of the City Anti-Mendicancy Board, said the members of the board have been reaching out to these people in the streets.

Reach out operations, she said, is part of the undertaking approved recently between the city government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Comprehensive Program for Street Children and Badjaos.

The priorities areas include Barangays Kamputhaw, Banilad, Barrio Luz, Capitol Site, Kasambagan, and Mabolo.

They will be temporarily housed in a processing center and social workers will have to assess the appropriate programs that the beneficiaries can avail of like the “Balik Probinsya Program.” – (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BALBUENA BALIK PROBINSYA PROGRAM BARANGAYS KAMPUTHAW BARRIO LUZ CAPITOL SITE CARMEL DIOLA CARMELO DIOLA CEBU CITY HALL CITY ANTI-MENDICANCY BOARD DIOLA
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